Posted by: tranalist | May 5, 2008

Post Windy City Excursion

Amy and I had a blast in Chicago. It was our first “sisters” trip ever and I think it went extremely well. Janessa was a great hostess, taking us to see and do so many things. We splurged a bit, but it was all worth it. We also had the right amount of down time–getting to just laze around the house, play games, and stay up until 8:30 in the morning talking (that’s right…all night long…such girls).

I always like to get a feel of the places I travel to. This year, the theme seems to be Big City. Chicago is checked off, and now New York City and Boston seem to be next on the radar. A good friend, who lives in Manhattan, has been encouraging me to come out for a visit and another friend of mine, whom I met whilst in Africa, has graciously opened up her home if I want to make the short trek to Boston. I’m excited. She and I have talked of this trip since returning from Mozambique 3 years ago, and now I just might get to do it!

But, I digress.

I found myself experiencing a wide array of emotions during our stay in Chicago. The neighborhood our hostess lives in isn’t, admittedly, the most affluent sort of place, but I loved it. I liked walking around in my grubby jeans and t-shirt, dressed in the same coat everyday and smiling at the people I saw on the street.

It is no secret that a large amount of racial tension exists there, which is so bizzaire to me, having been born and raised in one of the largest melting pots in the world. I find it fascinating that prejudices, on both sides, still exist.

When I start sensing this sort of thing, it is so easy for me to become complacent, to avert my eyes and continue on my merry way. But then, something begins to rise up within me, wanting to challenge, in the best sort of way, those prejudices and stereotypes by just showing love. It’s the only thing I know to do that can possibly destroy the years of misunderstanding. I don’t want to see the division perpetuated in younger generations. I want people to be set free. Part of me would love to move to a neighborhood like this one to do what little I can to help arrest the problem. But those are musing for another day.

It feels like I’m starting to get more of a sense of what I’m really passionate about, and what direction I may be heading in, which is making me really excited to see what unfolds in the future.

Here’s a photo taken right before we hopped on the L to catch our flight back home. Amy thought it was so telling of the stark contrast that exists between us. She’s dressed in her nice pea coat, silk scarf, and stylish shoes–even her gloves match. Then there’s me. Casual jacket, scarf, comfortable walking shoes, and gloves that definitely don’t match. Who woulda thunk we’re sisters, huh? She is a great traveling companion however, so I’m looking forward to our next outing.

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